Dedicated hippocampal inhibitory networks for locomotion and immobility

Moises Arriaga, Edward B. Han

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Network activity is strongly tied to animal movement; however, hippocampal circuits selectively engaged during locomotion or immobility remain poorly characterized. Here we examined whether distinct locomotor states are encoded differentially in genetically defined classes of hippocampal interneurons. To characterize the relationship between interneuron activity and movement, we used in vivo, two-photon calcium imaging in CA1 of male and female mice, as animals performed a virtual-reality (VR) track running task. We found that activity in most somatostatin-expressing and parvalbumin-expressing interneurons positively correlated with locomotion. Surprisingly, nearly one in five somatostatin or one in seven parvalbumin interneurons were inhibited during locomotion and activated during periods of immobility. Anatomically, the somata of somatostatin immobility-activated neurons were smaller than those of movement-activated neurons. Furthermore, immobility-activated interneurons were distributed across cell layers, with somatostatin-expressing cells predominantly in stratum oriens and parvalbumin-expressing cells mostly in stratum pyramidale. Importantly, each cell’s correlation between activity and movement was stable both over time and across VR environments. Our findings suggest that hippocampal interneuronal microcircuits are preferentially active during either movement or immobility periods. These inhibitory networks may regulate information flow in “labeled lines” within the hippocampus to process information during distinct behavioral states.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)9222-9238
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Neuroscience
Issue number38
StatePublished - Sep 20 2017


  • Behavior
  • Calcium imaging
  • Circuits
  • Hippocampus
  • Interneurons
  • Virtual reality


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